I'm still not sleeping and now I have appeared to have pulled my groin getting off the sofa bed and am considering a walking cane to get me about a bit quicker. Is this trip going to be my last adventure before I take up my lifelong dream of becoming a lawn bowls champion?

Third time up the Crest. Stefan was feeling left out and ditched the hanky hat so he could become an internet sensation. Jeff and Tim were on form today and pushed us up the hill. On a side note, Stefan is super cool, witty, really popular and this trip wouldn't have been any good without him.

Another perfect day greets us as we wake to our 7am alarm and a balmy -3 degree morning. It's time to move out and we pack the cars with all our gear (just fits) and head back to Monarch Crest for a crack at the most technical trail in town. Agate Creek trail. It's a mile further along the crest and this time we smash the climb as we need to be on track to make Palisades Rim Trail before dusk, (turns out we miscalculated our drive time and just got into our Grand Junction house by nightfall).

The views are crap from Monarch Crest. I can't believe  we have to do this a third time.

When you're in a foreign country and riding the most technical trail in the area, it's great to know that rescue is a button push away. (This is a paid commercial break from the good folk at ACR Artex and their ResQlink PLB. Call 0900SAVEMERODFATHER for a great deal).

We are all feeling a lot better as we acclimatize to the Himalayan conditions and we put on the pace and race each other down Agate Creek trail whooping with delight at the high speed rollers that just go on and on and on for a total of 970 metres of descent. OK, it's a little less than what we are used to but this trail seems twice as long. Not many corners, just a bob sled run to nirvana.What an adventure. Alpine ridge into meadow into forest into meadows into icy creek crossings into a what?...A 50 metre climb to the car park...Oh man this is hurting. You can tell that I'm either tired or just getting really fussy about climbing at altitude. Both.

Endless singletrack and gentle climbs. I want to move to Monarch Crest

Hate is a strong word I don't usually use for another person. Tim is fast, fit, handsome, very little body hair (that'll help when he's 50), has a superhero jawline, about 6% body fat, is a professional firefighter and is way younger than me. Yes hate is quite appropriate me thinks. He showed me who's boss on Agate Creek.

Every time I hid in the bushes to take a pic, mountain lion paranoia kicked in. I always heard rustling foliage and the hairs on my back stood up (that reminds me, I must wax again soon).

This section was soooo fast with big wallowing rollers. We must have hit 35 mph easy (that's about 50 kph in NZ talk) I had to stop to rest, the thighs were taking a hammering.

James enjoying the lower meadow slopes before he got soaking wet feet.

Oh the camaraderie. Lunch stop #2

Stefan coped remarkably well considering he rides a 26" wheeled bike.Check out that ice. We were riding ice puddles that broke up as we crossed them. Hey Stefan...look how many pics you get with no hanky on your head. (If he gets skin cancer I'm really in the poo).

Simon was riding so fast his beard nearly flipped up and blinded him.

It was very specail to be able to ride downhill for so long beside the creek with stunning views and the odd squirrel to keep us company. Jeff, Stefan and Tim. 

Piss off Tim with your chiseled happy face. (It's OK folks, he knows I love him like a brother)

We tried to keep our feet dry for as long as possible. Especially as Jeff here had left the wrong car at the pick up point so all our dry clothes were at the top.

Oh how interesting...some rocks. PAY ATTENTION! That silver and red thing there is a car that has sailed off the cliff above. Yes they are big rocks. I was about 80 yards away and on full camera zoom. I counted at least 6 car wrecks in those rocks.

Load up the SUV's, hit the tarmac for a leisurely Mexican lunch at Gunnison and a quick visit to a gun shop just because I'm in the land of the brave.

Lunch #3. This is like food gramming but way cooler.

Palisades Rim trail tomorrow morning then off to Fruita to sample some local technical goodness.

Who needs international photographer Caleb Smith when therodfather is on tour (miss you Caleb...No really!)

We found an old car yard with old American cars. Average price..$1295. They were pretty beat up.

Worth every goddamn nickel. I love the US of A.

It's a bit like driving from Wellington to Paraparaumu